Thoughts on Motherhood

"By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class." -- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Someone once said that the moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new... As ironic as it might sound, I couldn't disagree more. I don't think the mother is born at the moment the child is born. When Sumaya was born, I knew I was her mother because every woman who gives birth to a child is called a mother, but truth be told, I was just a woman with a baby nothing more, nothing less.

Giving birth was supposed to be the hard part, I sort of knew that but I was so under prepared for postpartum. Everyone said expect to lose sleep, so I expected that. What I didn't expect was the complete and total surrender to a tiny creature and her needs. The pediatrician gave me a book about the baby's first year, the hospital gave me a booklet for new moms and I spent days reading them. I tried to remember what I read, I tried the techniques,and finally I realized I needed to listen to Sumaya. I didn't need to read all those books, what was important was to learn to read her.

Once I understood that, I spent the next few weeks paying closer attention to her, her cues,her needs,her cries, and so on and I learn more than I could ever dream to learn from a book, the books make great coasters though. It is amazing that babies are born and know exactly what to do. There is a natural instinct for the child to look for the breast right after she's born and feed. It is the same instinct that is present in animals which allows a mother bear to know when her cub is in trouble and defends it with her life. People have that same ability, and scientists say it's stronger in mothers. 'They say that it is safer for a mother to sleep in bed with her child than the father. The mother instinctively knows where that child is and won't roll on it.'

So when does one become a mother? Is it the moment of conception? The first time you hear your baby's heart beat? When you're in labor, screaming your lungs out? When you hold your baby for the first time? Different women will give different answers to this question. I do believe however that giving birth doesn't make a woman a mother. Anyone with a uterus can give birth, it takes more time to be a mother. There has to be a defining moment when maybe you couldn't take your baby's cries anymore, when she holds your finger in her tiny little hand, when she gives you that look, or smile, when she's sick or aching, when she goes to school for the first time, when she makes you worry, happy, sad, mad or any other emotion that you felt at that moment, that's the moment, the moment that you realize that you're not just a woman with a child, you are a mother. It's the moment you realize that nothing matters more than the safety and happiness of your child. That's when you become a mother.

Yes there is a moment when a a child is born, the mother is not born yet. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new..Something that's younger than the child it bore......


Nawal said...

Beautiful post,

I think the first time the reality of my pregnancy and impending motherhood sunk in was around 16 weeks when I felt the first kick. The first of many to come. I cried.

Mona said...

Hijabee! This is such a wonderful post! Thank you. Cute photos!!

NoR said...

tis is a sweet post. :)

Jemila said...

So beautiful! I'm sure Sumaya knows how lucky she is to have such a wonderful mum!!

.::Tuttie::. said...

this is a beautiful post mashaAllah. I don't know when I felt like a mother but the moment my child was in the hospital and they were pricking him everywhere and my heart ached. Maybe it was then when I realized how much that little bugger actually meant to me. AllahuaAlim. I always felt attached to my son from the moment I found out (officially) until I gave birth. So basically what I am trying to say is. I don't know.

Hijabee said...

It does hit us at different times. Thanks for stopping by :)

Thank you :)

Thanks for the comment chica. Hope all is well!

It's hard to know when the defining moment happens. I guess there is not just one moment, but many!

Umm Amirah said...

Asalaamu Alaikaum Ukthi,
Masha~allah. Beautiful. As a mother of 2 you will continue to second guess and wonder if your doing 'IT' right.

Motherhood is 'on the job training'. NO book, lecture, show, can prepare you for the emotional ups and down.

Insha~allah may Allah(swt) give you strength beyond numbers...and love in your heart.

Anonymous said...

My dear Hijabee,
I was so happy to read this touching post.Not to mention the cute pictures :)!
I'm glad you're doing fine,because I think a lot about you.
Well,there's one thing I believe though that some women don't have a mother instinct.
I send you a strong hug and lots of love :)!

Anonymous said...

There's a hug for you on my blog :)!

Hijabee said...

Umm Amirah,
Waleikum Salam, ameen to your duas. You're the expert and I will be coming to you for advice :-p

Thank you for stopping by & for the hug! I missed you a lot and can't wait to have more time so I can blog more. Love!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Loooovee back :D!
Just take your time.I can't even imagine how life changing must be to have a baby.Mwah to you and to your little Sumaya :)!

Ms.Unique said...

Aww masha Allah ... beautiful post ... I'm so happy to hear from you :) ... Love to lil one and Hugs to U ... tc ... :D

Sacrifice4Allah said...

As Salaamu 'alaikum,

May Allah make it khair for you and your wonderful family. MashaAllah TabarakaAllah!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to send you a hug for Eid :)!I hope Sumaya's first Eid was fine =).

Hijabee said...

Big hug to you as well. Our Eid was good. We had friends over and had a good time:)

Ms. Unique,
Thanks honey... Barely have time to be online these days. Hope to catch you soon on FB.

Waleikum Salam. Ameen to your dua and thanks for stopping by.

Mina said...

You recieved an award -

Anonymous said...

This post was beautifully written. I am a nanny in Dc :D and I believe every child is different, and will cue you into their needs.

Slipstitches said...

As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullaah, I really enjoyed this post and May Allaah continue to bless you ameen.

Hijabee said...

Mina, thanks Luv. I will check it out.

Thanks for stopping by. It's good to see another DC blogger :)

Hijabee said...

Waleikum Salam wa Rahmatulah. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your motherhood- May Allah bless your baby and make her a sadaqa jahriah for you. Now you know why Allah made your body the way it is- For me it wasnt real until I held her- I'm not worthy. Make dua for my kiddos too